Athletics’ Healy Finds Missing Power

OAKLANDIt would have been easy for Ryon Healy to sulk when he learned that an all-star season at Double-A Midland in 2015 earned him only a trip back to the Texas League.

Instead, the first baseman decided to make himself a better player, and he earned a May promotion to Triple-A Nashville.

“I guess I kind of had a chip on my shoulder, and I wanted to prove them wrong,” said Healy, 24.

The Athletics are stacked with corner-infield prospects at the higher levels, with Renato Nunez and Matt Chapman at third base, and Rangel Ravelo and Matt Olson at first base. Plus, Max Muncy has tread a lot of the same ground as Healy.

“He refused to be forgotten, and he just forced the organization to move him,” farm director Keith Lieppman said. “He did very well last year, and he returned with more focus and determination. He really wants people to know that he has an approach that will work in the major leagues. He’s putting up one good at-bat after another.”

After his big 2015, Healy looked for a way to hit more home runs. “I spent a lot of time in the offseason fixing mechanical issues with my swing to give me a better opportunity to hit for power,” Healy said. He also had a plan to improve in another way.

“I worked on my mental game, too,” he said. “There’s a guy in spring training named Ed Sprague (the former big league third baseman) who helps a ton with the mental game. We talked about what pitches to look for and what pitches to hit. It helps a lot to talk to someone who has played at the highest level.”

He has also become more of a thinking hitter, studying pitchers and learning their patterns.

Healy, a third-round pick out of Oregon in 2013, hit .342/.407/.605 with nine homers and 15 doubles through 47 games this season. The natural first baseman played about one in five games at the hot corner.


• After making a big impression at big league camp, Nashville catcher Bruce Maxwell bruised his right shoulder during a slide an wound up on the disabled list.

• The A’s placed hard-throwing low Class A Beloit righthander Dustin Driver on the disabled list after five appearances, and he returned to Arizona to continue his recovery from the slew of injuries that have plagued his career.

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